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The yard

We have been working on cleaning up our yard since we bought it. Here are links to the before and afters. We still have a long way to go, except now it’s more beautification than anything else.



If I could lift my arms I would pat myself on the back..

I have really been struck lately that the work that we are doing on the house lately feels a lot more enjoyable. For years in this house it was fixing dangerous things that the previous left behind. It was expensive and frustrating. It was years of ‘have to’.. Have to fix this, have to repair this, have to get this debris taken out..

Now if feels like we are starting to do things that we are enjoying. We are changing the way we look at our home and appreciating it more. It feel less ‘I hate that we have to do this!!!’ and more ‘Look how awesome that is!’

We have a chainlink fence that I really dislike, but replacing it is so far down the list I can’t even fathom doing it. The handrail coming down into the yard was all rusted. It started out with me painting the handrail, then I painted the gate, I thought it looked beautiful.

Then I looked over and saw that a cast iron bench I owned was looking a bit shabby.


I was showing off the gate to Bryan and he casually mentions that it would look nice if we painted the entirety of the front fence. I did some research and got a deep-napped roller and managed to cover most of the fence and me in paint.
But it looks awesome!

It’s about as pretty as you can make chainlink.

Then last week I found a bench swing that was in pretty rough shape. Bought it and it too got the shiny-azations!

I laughed with the husband this weekend that everything at the house was going to eventually be black and shiny, once a goth always a goth. 🙂

The great house switcheroo! (wife post)

We are a home that likes to entertain. We have a monthly tea. We host the holidays. We like having playdates. One of the things that I had really missed from our old place was hosting movie nights. We have a tight little area where we had our television. The two times we have hosted others to see a movie it was really cramped and uncomfortable. So I was looking at our different options and suggested something to Bryan and I honestly thought that he would never go for.. switching our media area and library from one side of the house to the other. I thought he would call me crazy and just shoot it down. We have eleven bookshelves full of books. My movie shelves came from a blockbuster that was closing out.. and we still have an overflow. But he thought about it for about a day and agreed that while the work involved would be huge, it was a great idea. So we went from:

The chaos!!

To the result of 4 days hard work

Bryan is more comfortable stretching tasks so that you are doing a reasonable amount at a time. I don’t have that sense, once a project is started, my crazy goes into high gear till it’s done. And once I start on one room it usually tears through the whole house till everything shines.

But now the house is really feeling like somewhere we can entertain with ease.

Now it’s really done,

Yes, Bryan is the man when it comes to building, drywall, electrical.. you know.. the hard stuff. I am the queen of decorating and the bits and bobs portions of finishing a room. Though I had wanted to keep the room fairly gender neutral, when my daughter was given choices it led to more and more pink everything.

What you are about to see is what happens when you let three year old girls have a voice in room decoration.

It’s the room of pink fluffy cupcake eating sparkly unicorns of doom,

and then some.

You may want sunglasses.

I blame Pinkie Pie.. She’s Thekla’s current hero.

Mike says ‘Make It Right’

We are big fans of Holmes on Homes and Mike Holmes himself. The state of our house helped make us a fan. There are many times that Bryan and I have complained ‘What in the hell were the previous owners thinking!!’ I kept complaining I needed a Mike says ‘Make it right!’ cross stitch for the house and our friend Amy volunteered to make it happen.

It hangs with pride next to the pictures of our house that the county had taken in previous years.

Raised beds

So I discovered a process where you can make your own raised beds with bags of concrete. You lay them out in whatever pattern you wish, water them or let them get rained on till they set. Rip off the paper, lay the next row. They form to the row beneath, creating stability. I don’t know specifically how high I would go with them, but I plan on going about three high. We are putting in a bed in front of another raised bed because whoever put it in just didn’t seem to care what it looked like. Half of the bed has the barest attempt to match the other side and then they seemingly tossed plans to the wind. Mainly I just want to distract from the ugliness of the facade behind it. Who cares how crappy the wall behind the bed looks while you are busy shoveling strawberries in your mouth, not me!

We are also putting in two raised beds for a veggie garden next year. I thought about larger or more beds, but honestly that just leads down the path to crazytown. I am not a diligent enough gardener to give myself too much room to play in. One bed will be all greens and salad makings, the other will be.. well all the rest of stuff you put in a garden: Potatoes, onions, carrots, that sort.

It’s been a slow process, and we are only half done. But it is the winter project. Cause you know, we just needed a little something to keep us busy while we finished the kid’s room remodel, and raised said kid, and all the other crazy stuff you do.

Good times 😉

I have real grown up sized fridge!!!

Spending money I shouldn’t have.. But we replaced the lilliputian fridgelette that we have been dealing with since buying the house. It was fine for the year and a half that we were broke as broke. But now that I can actually afford fresh veggies it’s been a failing game of Tetris for a while now.. well I hit the breaking point and dragged Bryan out to just ‘look at what our options were’. Two hours and 25.6 cubic freaking feet later.. (woo haw)
My checking account is lighter than it was but by not what you would have expected for what we got.


The universe must have must heard my screams of hatred. I hated that fridge so much I can’t even tell you.



And now it goes to live in the basement like it should.

Before and after

Some before and afters:









I think the next time Bryan and I pooh pooh the amount of work we’ve done, we just need to shut the hell up. A great big shoutout to my Mom and little sister for helping out so much this last week. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Yardwork continues

I was really frustrated, we put a lot of time and money into our yard. Unfortunately we didn’t lay down any barriers so even though tons of time and money had gone into things, I was in a position to have to do it all again which was horribly frustrating. Weeds and morning glory are dreadful foes. But my mom and little sister had come out to visit, are actually still here. But they got it up their butt to help me get things in order.

We have an entire half of the yard that was covered in bricks and a huge hole where the pond had been.
My mom almost by her lonesome moved all the bricks by herself.


We had all the beds in the front redone with actual plastic laid so that we hopefully don’t have to do this all over again anytime soon.


The amount of work this entailed.. It’s amazing.

Trying to ignore my back, but still feeling smug about the amount of work I got done.

During the baby’s nap I got a bunch of bark and rock down in the garden today. I can’t believe how nice it is starting to look. It’s like grownups live here.

Only two more beds to do in front.. *sob*

I also managed to get the base in for the raised bed that I am putting in. Now I just have to wait till I have a little more spare cash for additional cement blocks for the second row, and for the soil. I have lots of wants, yet very little cash.